Following a poll conducted on social networking site Twitter, a high percentage of Derby County fans participating believe current forward Matej Vydra is the club’s best number 10 since Italian ace Francesco Baiano.
Baiano, a former two-capped Italy international, donned the Rams shirt for three years in the 90s under the guidance of then-manager and popular figure Jim Smith.
The club was in the Premier League at the time, and successive top-ten finishes coupled by the move to Pride Park meant there was a real buzz in the East Midlands and players were arriving from all parts of the world.
Baiano and Eranio were two wonderful Italian imports, Paulo Wanchope was the Costa Rican unknown who ended up flourishing for the Rams while Horacio Carbonari became the club’s first Argentine representative.
All good things, however, don’t tend to last forever… Derby were relegated back to the second tier in 2002, and since then things haven’t been anywhere near as good for the club especially in recent years.
But this season there is the feel of a potential new era at Derby, and one player in particular is starting to be spoken about in the same breath as those idols from the 90s and that is Czech international Matej Vydra.
As shown by the poll results on Twitter, 83% of the Derby fans who voted believe the former Watford man is the best number 10 to represent the club since the diminutive genius that was Baiano.
Vydra has netted 16 goals in all competitions so far this season – incidentally the same amount as Baiano managed in three seasons – but it’s his ability on the ball which is getting fans off their seats.
Derby have had some decent number 10s over the past 18 years, including Scotland international Kris Commons, former academy product Giles Barnes and even advanced midfielder Craig Bryson.
But Vydra seems to have more about him, combining a direct running style with talent on the ball and a hammer of a shot which has seen him net at least three goals this season from outside of the penalty area.
Derby, currently lying in second spot in the Championship, will be hopeful their present number 10 can continue with his rich vein of form and follow Baiano’s steps of flourishing for the club in the Premier League.